(The following column is presented by boating veterans Mike and Christine DuBois.)
To preserve quality conditions and ensure everyone has space on Lake Windermere, here are some tips for traffic flow.
1. Drive North/South. The only time you should ever drive East/West on Lake Windermere is to come in and out of your dock. Please idle (under 5 mph) then once away from the dock/marina you can plane (over 18 mph) to minimize the size of wakes when travelling E/W – do not plow (6-18 mph) and send large wakes down the length of the lake.
2. No power turns (aka high speed wide turns not to be confused with a button hook)! Instead, when towing and your athlete falls, put the boat in neutral, let your waves go by as you turn at idle speed in the same lane that you were travelling in. A power turn leaves your rider vulnerable and sends rollers down the entire lake. A power turn is a sure sign of an inexperienced boat driver. Friends don’t let friends power turn!
3. Park and lounge close to shore. If you stop to swim or hang out on your boat, go to the edges of the lake and throw out an anchor. Do not take space in the middle of the lake to float – especially on a busy long weekend. Why? See #4. Every boat needs an anchor. If you don’t own an anchor, stop reading – go buy one, and then read these articles religiously for the rest of the summer.
4. Surf in the middle. If a wake surf boat is operated 200 ft (60m) from shore and in at least 10 ft [3m] of water, the environmental impact is minimal. At our current water level (which is low for this time of year) there should be no surfing south of Larch Point. The deepest part of our lake is the north end (north of Windermere Beach). Stay 60m from shore and watch your depth. Besides, a surf wave can’t properly form in depths of less than 10 ft.
5. Be aware. Scan the water constantly for swimmers, wind powered, smaller and non-motorized vessels. Give them room. They always have the right of way. Also, don’t assume that other boat drivers see you.
Please start using these tips in your daily boating practices to help keep boating more enjoyable for everyone. Next: Watch your wake.
About the authors:
As avid lake users, and having owned and operated Shadybrook Resort, Marina and Watersports school for decades, Mike and Christine DuBois have seen a lot of interesting behaviour on the lake.
They recently sold their business and now are committed to sharing their wisdom of Lake Windermere and their best boating practices. Christine is the Zone1 BC Games watersports coach and facilitates coaching and boat driving courses for Waterski Wakeboard Canada.
During the summer the DuBois’ will be providing you with tips on how to be a better boater.